Surviving The Winter

Surviving The Winter

Winter is peeking around the corner...

Winter can be a scary time for us plant lovers. That beautiful new growth we've worked so hard to cultivate is at the mercy of old man Winter, & counting on us to keep root rot at bay. 

Sometimes it can seem like quite a violent switch from running around like a headless chicken trying to quench all your plant's thirst, watering, misting & avoiding direct sun like a madman, to basically not needing to water or even look at your plants for weeks. Also, it can be so. Boring. No new growth! 

But regardless, Winter will come every year, so we have to be prepared! If you're not, or you've had casualties in the past, we've got some handy tips to make it through the chilly months. 

Let that light in

Winter sunlight is weak sauce- it's a lot less intense than those spicy Summer rays. So where in Summer you were trying to keep a lot of plants out of reach from direct sunlight, you may want to move them a little closer in Winter. This can really help your plants stay a little bit more active and absorbing moisture in their soil- a little more on that later. But get those babies in the sun! 

Check for anything thats preventing those tasty winter rays- dust, dirty windows, & plant placement can all prevent your plants from getting some much needed sunlight.

Dust be gone!

Dust on the leaves can be a death sentence in Winter. Plants rely on photosynthesis to live, and without a nice outdoor breeze to dust their leaves, we're their only hope! Grab a microfibre cloth and dunk it in some warm soapy water- or use our Plant Runner Leafshine- and get to wipin'. For plants with finicky little leaves, you can also chuck them in the shower and give them a good spray down. Make sure when you do this that they actually need watering, you don't want a soggy plant especially when it's cold. 

Check those windows

If your windows are dirty or you have curtains, this can really affect how your plants do over Winter. Your babies need every little bit of light they can get at this time of year, so do your best to open your curtains as soon as you can, and give them a nice wipe down to give your plants a fighting chance. 

Reshuffle the babies

Because Winter sunlight is a lot weaker than the Summer stuff, a lot of people like to move their plants in closer to the windows. This really helps your plants soak up a bit of extra sun. Depending on the type of plant/how much sun your home gets, the sun loving ones can even be put out onto your balcony.

Some extra help

If your plants are really struggling and your home is a bit short on light, you can always get yourself a grow light. Love That Leaf has some great ones.

Know which plants die off

Oh no! My plant is going yellow and the end is coming for her! Hold on. Before you panic, make sure to check if you have any plants that go into dormancy/die off in cold weather. Alocasias, Cissus discolour, Dioscorea and caladiums can all die off in Winter. So don't chuck them in the bin this time! Be patient and leave them to do their thing (some will need a teeny bit of watering, some don't want any water).

No fertiliser, please!

Because indoor plant growth will slow down a lot over Winter, there is really no need to fertilise. Most of your plant's energy is going into surviving and growing a nice healthy root system in preparation for next Summer, so fertilising is a big no-no. Even with the best intentions, you will just end up giving your plant some nasty fertiliser burns.  

Watch your watering 

Because it's so cold, there's a lot less sun and a whole lot more rainy days, your plants need a LOT less water. They will all be focused on survivin' and conserving their energy, so go easy on the watering. Be very mindful when you water, always making sure to check the soil properly beforehand. Moisture meters can be very handy at this time of year, as they will tell you just how deep the dry soil is. Make sure not to leave any of your plants with water sitting at the bottom of the tray, as this is a sure fire way to give a plant root rot. 

Beware the heat pump

It's only natural to have the heat pump blasting or the fire blazing at this time of year, but please remember to keep your plants out of the line of fire! These guys can dry the heck out of your plants, causing crispy leaves and sad looking plants. This in turn can make you think your plants need watering, when really they're just super sad and humidity-less. The best thing to do for your babies, if you're noticing a lot of crispy edges is to get yourself a humidifier. Theres a lot of very pretty ones out there, from wireless chargeable models to big grunty plug in ones. Also good for keeping your skin from drying out! 

 

Embrace the dormancy

Listen, this time of year is perfectly normal for plants to be on their okay-est behaviour. Sometimes plants don't make it, near death experiences might happen, and leaves will be lost. It happens to the best of us. Embrace the slowness, appreciate what your plants have achieved and let them have their well deserved rest. 

Happy planting!

P.S. Don't you dare repot anything this Winter unless you ABSOLUTELY have to!

 

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